The Local 212/MATC Believe in Students FAST Fund thanks Governor Evers for establishing the Rental Assistance Program.
“The FAST Fund has been swamped with requests from MATC students for rental assistance,” said Dr. Michael Rosen, Director of the FAST Fund. “Most have been out of work since mid- March and many have children. Without steady income, many students and their kids are desperate. This program is a life saver. Without it, Milwaukee and other Wisconsin communities would experience a tsunami of evictions and homelessness when the eviction moratorium is lifted.”
The Rental Assistance Program is a $25 million initiative that will help Wisconsin families keep rooves over their heads as well as allow landlords to pay their mortgages.
Alejandra Gomez, an MATC Nursing student explained.” I just want to thank everybody behind the Rental Assistance Program. This will really help my two kids and me during these difficult economic times. It will also help me stay in school at MATC so I can achieve my dream of becoming a nurse.”
Even before the pandemic, Milwaukee was plagued by evictions, as more than one out of eight renters was forced to move between 2009 and 20011 according to Matthew Desmond, author of the award-winning book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.
In Milwaukee, nearly a third of renters paid half or more of their income for housing in 2016, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. An analysis of monthly rents by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel concluded that residents with the lowest-incomes, mostly African American neighborhoods where almost 40% of MATC student live, face some of the highest relative rent costs in the city.
“Most MATC students are working class, “said Dr. Rosen.” “One out of every seven Wisconsin workers is unemployed. Many others have had their hours slashed. They simply don’t have enough money to cover household costs. Governor Evers’ rental assistance program is a life raft for these families and our students. It promotes public health by ensuring families are not thrown out onto the streets.”
Michah Nicholson, a Culinary Arts student, said, “I’m out of work and so are most of my classmates because of Covid-19. This program will help with the stress we’re feeling and maybe help us sleep better at night.”
The Local 212/MATC Believe in Students FAST Fund is a non-profit organization that provides quick,